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Juiced e-bike review: I tried the Juiced CrossCurrent X Step-Through

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Erin L

Erin L

Juiced e-bike review cross current xAfter much consideration, I got an e-bike! I want to be able to pop to the store, get a bottle of wine or some pastries without always needing the start the car. Plus in addition to being a nicer way to run errands, it also gets me off my butt and doing some exercise too. The bike I chose is the Juiced CrossCurrent X Step-Through. This is what’s called a commuter bike, and it’s got pedal assistance for those times I’m too tired to make it uphill on my own, plus a powered throttle that means I can ride free. In this review, I’ll talk about what this bike is like to own, what its range, power and battery are like, and the key features that sold me on Juiced. I’ve spend a few weeks with this bike so I’ll wrap things up by talking price and if I think I can recommend it for you.

Juiced e-bike review

Summary

Overall, I have to say I’m really happy with my choice of Juiced e-bike. While I am new to the electronic bike concept, I feel like I’ve gotten everything I wanted and more with this bike.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • So many accessories included: bell, lights, rack
  • Smooth ride
  • Easy assembly
  • Battery seems long lasting
  • AirTag compartment is genius

Cons

  • Bike is heavy with battery installed
  • Battery can be hard to seat/unseat

What is Juiced CrossCurrent X Step-Through?

This bike is a city bike for commuters and street riders. With an open frame design the CrossCurrent is meant to be easier for getting on and dismounting. Because this is a commuter bike, it comes with a few sensible accessories included, direct from the factory, and it’s one of the reasons I chose this Juiced e-bike model, so I wouldn’t have to shop for accessories and hope they’re compatible. You get a rear rack, which you can attach a basket or saddlebags to to carry groceries and vino. There’s also comfortable ergonomic handgrips, a soft seat, front and back fenders to keep splashing down, a powered front headlight, bell, and a small digital display screen that essentially acts as your dashboard. More on that in a minute. Where are juiced e-Bikes made? Juiced is based in San Diego California.

Set up and assembly

Juiced e-bike review cross current xI hate to break it to you, but this bike is shipped in a large flat box, meaning there are some assembly tasks you’ll have once it arrives at your door. Let me start out by saying I am not the least bit mechanical and I know zero about bicycles at the moment, For that reason, I was not looking forward to having to put together my own bike.

When you unpack it, you’ll have a handful of parts and pieces. Your key tasks will be to install the front wheel, mount the handlebars, add a fender, and then sprinkle on some of the included accessories, including reflectors, and a headlight.

I’m so glad to say Juiced made this easy, providing not just written instructions, but online video tutorials that were really easy to follow, and including all the relevant tools in the box. There are times when I struggle with assembling things like IKEA furniture, but I was able to get my bike figured out easily enough. While Juiced recommends it will probably take 30 to 60 minutes to get your bike belt, it took me nearly 2 hours, but I chalk this up to being completely unfamiliar with most bicycle parts, and how they go together, so no knock on Juiced here. I’ll add this: if I can assemble this bike, anyone can assemble one.

Later that same morning, I was able to take my first ride.

Removable, rechargeable battery

The other thing you’ll want to do before you hit the road is to make sure the battery is fully charged. The battery is removable, but I will admit here it’s not intuitive to install and unseat. There’s a convenient handle which gives you something to grip, important because the battery is HEAVY. You can charge it while the battery is on the bike or remove it and bring it inside. A small sliding cover gives you access to the charging port.

Juiced e-bike review cross current xThe battery is a G2 52V, 19Ah Battery. How much range will you get from that? That battery will depend how fast you’re riding, if you’re helping pedal, and if you’re tackling a lot of uphill jaunts (also toss in resistance from bumps, wind, tire pressure. You get the idea here…) Overall this particular bike should deliver about 28 miles when in speedy ‘race track mode’ and up to 100 miles when used lightly.

Juiced’s selling feature here is that most e-bikes today use a 36 or 48-Volt battery; typically providing very modest power, speed and hill climbing performance. Juiced Bikes, however, is one of the only e-bike brands exclusively using the higher capacity 52-Volt batteries across the entire line of products.
I had this bike for about three weeks and used it intermittently; about three times per week on average. My rides ranged from quick dips to the grocery store, to longer 90 minute cruises. In the entire time I had the bike, the battery barely dipped under 70%. Impressive. I also often left the battery, turned on and wanted to see if that could draw enough power to eventually kill the battery. It didn’t.

How long does recharging take?

In the same way that range can vary, so can charging time. To do the math on recharging an e-bike divide the amp-hour rating of your battery by the amp rating of your charger, that is how long it will take you to fully charge your battery (if it is fully discharged). So, charging a 19.2Ah battery with a 4amp turbo charger will take around 4.8 hours. With an 8amp fast charger, that same battery will take around 2.5 hours to charge.

The Cross Current X comes with a 2 amp charger so it could take a while if your battery is fully depleted. I’m not yet sure how long a full recharge takes, since I have yet to need to recharge it!

Speed, Power & Range: 9-speed e-bike

When it comes to an e-bike, it’s about top speed, overall power, and range. From my research, it’s apparently a wise decision to purchase more range and battery power than you think you might need, since there’s not much worse than running out of juice when you need it most. Naturally, since you’re riding a bicycle, your legs will always provide power, even with a fully dead battery, but even so, it pays to have options.

Juiced e-bike review cross current xThe Juiced CrossCurrent X Step-Through will go up to 28 MPH/45kph and it has up to 100 Mile Range. With 9 speeds or gears, this bike works like a regular bike, in that it can make pedaling easier or add more tension to help you maximize your energy output.

I found right away that the gears change smoothly, quickly and easily and it was fast and simple to make adjustments. With a level on the front to increase gears, and button on the back to lower them, it’s easy to make adjustments.

When it comes to the throttle, that’s on the left handlebar, and pushing it down with your thumb activates it. The throttle works easily and intuitively, and didn’t create any jolts of power; just smooth speed and motion. If I did notice anything about this as a new writer, it’s that I seemed to have difficulty providing small speed adjustments using the throttle. It seemed to be more geared towards on or off with not a lot of stops in between.

Getting ready to ride: How to turn on Juiced e-bike

When you’re ready to head out on your inaugural voyage, here’s what you need to do; there’s actually a two-step process to get the bike turned on. Both the battery and the bicycle itself need to be turned on.

Juiced e-bike review cross current xIf the battery is installed on your bike, you need to remove it in order to switch it on. Removing the battery is a bit of a process that takes some getting used to, especially for this newbie. Use the included key to unlock the battery from the bike and pull it out and to the left using the handle. The battery is massively heavy, and will easily slip from your grip so make sure you’ve got hold of it. The power button is on top near the handle; push and hold until it lights up. I’m not sure why, and my manual doesn’t explain it, but the light flashes at first and if I push the button a second time it glows solid.

With the light on the battery on, re-seat it in the battery cradle. This also took some getting used to for me as it doesn’t simply click delicately into place. It requires almost slamming it sideways into its dock to get it to properly seat and latch. I’m not sure if this is recommended or will loosen up overtime, and I keep meaning to check with Juiced customer support that I’m not actually wrecking anything.

With the battery in place, push and hold the power button on the back of the LCD display screen for three seconds to activate it. Now you’re ready to ride.

LCD Display: your e-bike dashboard

Juiced e-bike review cross current xThe LCD display on the CrossCurrent e-bike is essentially your vehicle dashboard. There’s two main screens; Main and Advanced.
On the main screen, along the top it shows your battery level and voltage. At the bottom left is the level of Pedal Assist (from zero to Racetrack). Speed is the largest number in the middle, and along the bottom are the system power in watts, and an odometer. If you have the headlight on, an indicator will pop up here too.
To access the Advanced Display Screen push both the Assist Up and Power Buttons at the same time. Dropping into this menu, will give you more detail about the power usage. The advanced settings menu is also where you can reset things like the odometer or a trip counter. On almost all my rises I only needed to see the Main screen.

Settings Menu

If you want to change things like the speed metric from miles to kilometers, you can access the settings menu by pushing the assist up and assist down buttons at the same time for three seconds.
Inside the settings menu, you can adjust a huge amount of the features, including the power off delay, set a speed limit, and more.

Headlight on/off

Juiced e-bike review cross current xIf you need a little more light for your ride, turning on the powered headlight is as simple as pushing and holding the assist up button for two seconds, and you’ll see the headlight icon on the LCD screen. The same action will turn it off.

Cruise Control

What a novelty: this bike also comes with cruise control. To activate cruise control, push and hold the pedal assist down button for three seconds. A small C will appear in the top left corner of the display. When it is released the assist down button and the current speed will be maintained without need to use the throttle or pedal assist. Braking automatically cuts off Cruise Control. I tried this, and it worked fine, but I am a bit of a control freak, especially when I’m not protected by a thick wrap of steel and airbags, so I opted not to cruise around much using cruise control.

Hydraulic Disc Brakes

The increased speed and power of an e-bike demands much better than average brakes, because, well… stopping is important. The brakes on this bike, do a really good job of creating a smooth, slow down, and I was never worried about flying over the handlebars or skidding to a stop. Naturally, some of that finesse is up to the writer, but Juiced makes it easy for you.

Cadence & Torque Pedal Assist

One of the great things about this e-bike that I loved from the very first ride is that it has torque pedal assist. That means as soon as I start paddling, the power kicks in and immediately gives me a boost. This assistance is adjustable up or down. It’s pretty thrilling (and initially a bit shocking!) to step on your bike and take that first pedal-step and have the bike shoot forward like you’re on a horse. With Pedal Sensors, the motor comes on automatically when I start to pedal.

Juiced e-bike review cross current xAs an e-bike newbie, I learned there are two basic kinds of Pedal Sensors: Cadence which measures IF you are pedaling and TORQUE which measures HOW HARD you are pedaling, and that pedal assist can be much more intuitive than using a throttle, making it a better option for beginners and novices. Plus, by combining manual pedaling with power from the battery, you can go farther than if you were relying solely on the battery.
The + and – buttons below the LCD screen control how much assistance you get.

What’s it like using a Juiced e-bike?

I have to admit the first time I got on the bike I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Are used to ride quite a bit and then fell out of the habit over the years. I’m looking to get back into it, so I am definitely familiar with the basics of riding a bike. Even so getting used to some of the controls and watching my speed using the speedometer required a bit of a change in mindset. There’s also more unusual things to get used to, like if you have the pedal assist engaged and you go to step on your pedals and start peddling, the bike will actually start moving on its own under you. This can be a bit shocking on the first couple of rides, but I eventually became more conscious of being ready to step on the pedals, and to anticipate the pull from the power.

Juiced e-bike review cross current xI found the pedal assist to be absolutely magical. It’s such a novelty to be able to pedal at a moderate pace and have the bike respond to you on its own by putting more juice into the ride. With adjustable pedal assist so you can have more or less power behind your pedal, it’s pretty fun to tinker around with. I was enjoying the pedal assist so much. I almost forgot about the throttle. Talk about a gift! At the end of one particularly long 90 minute ride I faced a last uphill stretch before home. I was able to relax on the bike and let the throttle carry me along the last couple of miles.

Hidden Air Tag compartment for security & tracking

One of the features I thought was extremely clever, is that hidden inside the battery is a small compartment held in place with tiny screws where you can secret an apple AirTag. The AirTag is sold separately, of course, but since I have a multi pack, I popped one inside. This is fantastic because it means if the bike is ever stolen, I’ll be able to track it down easily. Also, because the compartment is not obvious, and it uses a non-standard screwdriver to access it, the chances of criminals being able to pop out and ditch the AirTag in a hurry seem small.

Replacement batteries

Juiced e-bike review cross current xI was sharing my Juiced experience with friends of ours who are also e-bike owners. One of the first questions they had was how much is a replacement battery? Apparently early e-bikes were made so that it was far too easy to completely drain and permanently kill a battery. Now of course, no battery lasts forever, and how you take care of your battery can definitely affect its longevity. But when the time comes for a full replacement, it’s worth knowing how much this might cost, since that could prove prohibitive. A replacement 52 amp Juiced battery is $799US. I have no idea what the lifetime of an e-bike battery is but I’d love to know what any of your experience has been with this type of product. Do they die fast or have you had yours for a long time? Share your thoughts and comments below.

Overall review: Juiced e-bike CrossCurrent Step Through

Overall, I have to say I’m really happy with my choice of Juiced e-bike. While I am new to the electronic bike concept, I feel like I’ve gotten everything I wanted and more with this bike. The crosscurrent model is super comfortable and very easy for me to get on and off and it also comes with all the most useful accessories. It definitely saved me time and effort hunting around for aftermarket gear. I found the ride to be smooth and comfortable, with the handle bar grips, and the seat to be quite comfortable, and the controls placed in easy to access locations. Even the assembly, though I was a complete newbie, was relatively simple. I am more than happy with the options for me to ride the bike, including my own power, with pedal assist, or going full lazy by using the throttle.

Are there any downsides to this bike? I think if you had any major complaints about it, they could be resolved by choosing a different model of juiced bike. For example, if you’re looking for a different style or something faster or something for riding trails, there’s options for that.

Juiced e-bike review cross current xWhen it comes to the CrossCurrent, there’s a few things I’d say to be aware of, but I wouldn’t necessarily call them downsides. Installing and removing the battery can be awkward and take some getting used to, and I still feel like I’m smashing it into place when I put it in. The power button is hidden underneath the installed battery as a safety feature, but because of the awkwardness of handling the battery, it can be a bit of a pain to access it. If that’s a concern, you can certainly leave the battery powered on, as it didn’t seem to affect the overall longevity enough to be a problem. The only other thing I’ve really noticed is that the bike is quite heavy on its own. I certainly would not be able to lift this on or off a vehicle rack for example, or onto some type of raised storage on my own without removing the battery. This is one of the things about owning an electric bike: the batteries are heavy so they can carry you further. And naturally, since you have power assistance and a throttle, rarely, will, you have to carry the full weight of the bicycle and battery all on your own.

In short, I can absolutely recommend Juiced e-bikes after trying them myself over several weeks. They’re easy to use, reliable, the battery is long lasting and the bike is comfortable and fun to ride.

You can get a Juiced Cross Current X for about $1,999 from Juiced’s website.

I added accessories to my e-bike including a smartphone mount, collapsible pannier bags for holding groceries and camera gear, plus a helmet, touchscreen gloves and a secure lock. You can shop those below.

 

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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